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The day my kids started asking for squeezable applesauce was the day I decided I would never buy prepared applesauce again. Why? The food companies have insulted our intelligence with these things. I mean, I know we’re all busy and that convenience comes at a price. But the amount of applesauce you get for the price plain and simply isn’t worth it.
Here’s an example. The retail price of four 3.2-ounce pouches of organic applesauce is $4.79. That comes to 37 cents an ounce. You get a total of 12.8 ounces of applesauce for $4.79. Apples routinely go on sale for 99 cents a pound. Organic apples cost more, of course, but nowhere near 37 cents an ounce.
Buy some apples and break out the slow cooker. It takes minimal effort to prepare the apples, toss the ingredients together in the slow cooker and make your own applesauce. You’ll get so much more bang for your buck. Here’s my favorite recipe.
Slow Cooker Applesauce
- 20 medium-sized apples
- 1¼ cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup honey
- ½-1 tablespoon lemon juice (to offset tartness of the apples, so adjust as needed)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract*
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon*
- The apples must be peeled, cored and sliced. I have an apple slicer that makes this job quicker and easier.
- Place the apple slices in a slow cooker and pour water over them. Sprinkle with salt, cover and cook for 6 hours on low.
- After 6 hours, stir in the honey, lemon juice (if needed), vanilla and cinnamon. I use the potato masher I inherited from my great-grandmother to mash and mix the ingredients to the consistency we prefer. You could use a blender to do the same.
Often, we’ll eat some of the applesauce warm with pork. We let the rest cool, put it in the refrigerator overnight and then put it into freezable, serving-sized bags or storage containers.
* I sometimes make this without the cinnamon and vanilla. One of my children isn’t much of a cinnamon fan.